Starting and Running a Web Hosting Business – Part One

SLDALThere are many qualities that are required in an individual for them to start and grow their own successful web hosting company on their own from the start.  Many people see web hosting as something that is simple to provide and requires little to no work which couldn’t be further from the truth.  There are many aspects of web hosting that the average first-time web host will not plan for or even think about such as their web site which can be simple but is very important if you are to function as an online business.  Other aspects of running a web hosting business range from obtaining the correct licensing as required by local laws to having a basic understanding of business management and accounting.  While most are not a jack of all trades, they can often get by based upon what they know and have people they can ask for help if they need it.

The most important quality required in a person starting their own web hosting provider is resourcefulness – when you are new to hosting there are certainly going to be roadblocks that you come across and questions that you do not know the answers to.  Being resourceful means that even if you don’t know the answer immediately you know where to look to find the answer.  The vast majority of support issues that clients raise could be answered simply by visiting Google.com and typing in the question or a description of the issue.  Unless you are an expert on everything (keep dreaming) then you either need to be resourceful or you will very quickly find yourself being asked questions you cannot answer which leads to very unhappy customers and bad reviews. Continue reading

Share

LiteSpeed Licensing – 39 Months To Make Owned Worth It???

LiteSpeed

I was doing the math on the licensing structure (we’ll go with the 1-CPU Enterprise license as this example).

I will start by saying that I realize it is in LiteSpeed Technologies’ best interests for you to lease your license from them as this gives them the most profit/income etc… where as an Owned license is generally seen as a larger up-front investment to reduce long-term costs.

I am also aware that I am comparing monthly lease to a yearly ownership as I am wanting to compare the extremes (smallest up-front investment vs the largest).

Owned licenses are an investment into LiteSpeed Web Server/Technologies and I always look at investments based upon how well they will return and how long until they return. A 39 month wait until the investment begins to return is a tad too long in my opinion and as you read on you will see the details of my analysis of their licensing program. Continue reading

Share

The Day Michael Jackson Slowed The Internet

Many of my customers as well as many other individuals that have web sites of their own are finding out that the internet itself is running very slowly today.  When I contacted our datacenter that provides service for our servers here is the response that I received from the representative:

The issue is that the Michael Jackson funeral is the largest web event in history. This is causing sluggish response times everywhere.

David E
SoftLayer CSA

michael_jacksonWe have had several clients submit tickets saying things such as “My site is loading slowly or not at all” and in my testing I have found that it is difficult to make connections across the country depending on what backbone your internet service provider is using.  It seems that Level3 and RoadRunner are having some trouble with the amount of traffic being transferred across their backbones where as I am seeing beautiful performance out of the Comcast backbone myself.

Upon asking for further detail from our datacenter, SoftLayer, this is what the representative had to say:

We are getting reports of sluggish response from all locations. There is no point of origin. It is internet wide.

If you are browsing the internet right now and everything is running smoothly then you can consider yourself lucky.  If you do run your own web site and you are having trouble connecting to it or you are receiving reports from your clients that your site is down there isn’t much you can do but tell them that the internet is extraordinarily congested due to the Michael Jackson funeral today and that we will all just have to wait this out.

There is also a thread that has been started by a user having issues with the internet over at the good old WebHostingTalk.com discussing that they are having issues connecting to WebHostingTalk.com where as other users are reporting no issues at all.  There is no definite way to tell if you will or will not have problems and you may have problems visiting one site while not having problems connecting to another.

Are you having trouble connecting to your own site or a site that you frequent?  Post a comment and let us know!

Share

The Importance of Networking in Business

people_networkAs an entrepreneur I very much understand the importance of networking with other individuals and companies in my industry.  Many people that try to start a business tend to operate in a very introverted way which often prevents them from making the networking connections that would be beneficial to their business in the long run.  Many fear that discussing their business with others in the same industry may open them up to issues where private company information is divulged but I have found that not to be an issue.  Individuals in the same industry can often discuss common issues that affect the industry and work together to resolve these issues faster than they could on their own.

A great example as to when business social networking helps is when an exploit is discovered and affects one company. Information about the exploit can spread across the social network and cause other providers to proactively protect themselves from the issue.  If you want a specific example of an issue you can Google for “HyperVM fsckVPS” and I am sure you will turn up loads of good results about the issue.

If you really want to run a successful business – talk to people who are already in the industry and listen closely to what they have to say.  Do your best to make business related social networking ties with other individuals and businesses in your industry as you may not need them now but I am sure at some point in time you will.

Share

Solid Business Management Skills

puzzleI have always been what I call “naturally talented” when it comes to business management as I understand every aspect of running a business without any official formal training.  There are those that simply know how to run a business, there are those that have taken courses at a university to be taught these skills, and then there are those that really don’t know what they are doing when it comes to running a business.  Anybody who has operated their own successful business will tell you that there are many aspects to operating your business and doing it successfully.

I look at running a business almost like putting together a puzzle: without all of the pieces you can’t complete the puzzle.  I myself operate a very successful web hosting firm and I have found that my firm’s competition often copy what we do in an attempt to become as successful as us however they are only obtaining a few pieces of the puzzle in the process.  It is tremendously saddening that there are companies and entrepreneurs out there that will look outward for ways to be successful rather than looking inward at their business model to evolve it into what it has the potential to be.

When it comes to being successful in business it has very little to do with what other businesses are doing and very much to do with what you and your business are not doing.

Share